You would think that with two weeks free I’d have loads to stuff to post and you’d be correct. Like the saying ‘money breeds money’ so does travel. It’s been quite an active year for us on the travel front and on our travels we’ve met a lot of very nice people. We encountered two such nice people on a trip to Mallorca earlier in the year. We hit it off with them and they invited us back to their villa for a meal and a friendship developed which resulted in a phone call last month with a strange request - As we are retired (i.e. bored and have nothing to do) would there be any possibility that we could leave the (Y)UK in October for a few days and come and stay at their beautiful villa, complete with swimming pool, ornamental Koi fish pond with tinkling fountain to look after their cat while they hopped off to visit relatives. Apparently the cat hates people normally, but because it hadn’t jumped on us hissing and spitting when we visited them, they thought we’d be suitable carers. What leave cold windy Blighty for a few days to go to warm, sunny, cheery Mallorca? It was a no brainer, so I booked the flights.
We packed lightly taking only hand luggage which meant I took a pair of shorts two t-shirts and underwear, all of which could be washed out there, and Hubby took 3 pairs of shoes, 4 shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, matching socks and belts, a jumper for the evenings and of course an umbrella. I did however pack a large notebook and pens because I intended not only writing my blogs out long hand, but also several chapters of my book which is nearing completion. I only required a few days of peace with no distractions to finish. Nothing like, sea, sun and San Miguels for inspiration I decided.
We arrived to be greeted by the owners who were just about to leave for the airport. We were hurriedly shown around and told about Sammo the cat, who was hiding somewhere no doubt sulking.
"He’s no trouble. He doesn’t much like to hang around people. This is the number for the vet if he gets sick and give him one of these each evening for his tea," said the owner holding up an enormous sardine from a can. It looked more like a small sea bass. The owners left and Sammo emerged, more like Sumo than Sammo. It was the largest cat I’ve ever seen. It strode up to us and meowed then trailed its tail around our legs. It seemed surprisingly friendly. Now I need to mention here that although I like cats, I am allergic to them. I knew Sammo was independent and lived outside, so I thought I’d be okay before I agreed to looking after him and Hubby promised to do most of the looking after anyway but Sumo had other ideas. He adored me from the start. Cats seem to know that you are allergic and when you can’t be near them. I set up camp to start writing outside on the sun beds.
First, he sat under my sun bed making my nose itch, then he sat on the foot of my sun bed making me itch all over and making my eyes water, and then he cheerfully launched himself onto my stomach making me jump because he weighed a tonne, and then sneeze furiously. Hubby tried to encourage him to leave me alone but Sumo hissed at him and wrapped his tail protectively around me each time I tried to get up and scurry back into the villa. He was a nice cat though and each morning he serenaded me with happy meows as I gave him his breakfast through streaming eyes, while he walked around and around me. He sat on the kitchen window ledge and gazed fondly at me all the time as I stayed inside to do my writing and finish my chapters, outside was impossible.
Sammo accompanied me to the car when I went to get groceries and waited for me to return, purring loudly and tripping me up as I carried in packages. He came for evening walks up the road and walked me to the house, where he would sit and stare at me through the window while Hubby enjoyed romantic evenings watching CNN or Bloomberg, and I wrote and wrote. Sammo stared and stared. When I fed him he would sit and stare lovingly at me, wolf down his enormous sardine, and then go back to gazing at me. The book got finished. The blogs were written too.
The last afternoon I sat outside and put up with Sammo trying to sit on my knees, stomach and head as I put the finishing touches to the work. At last it was done. Sammo sat back and surveyed me suspiciously as I got up to get a celebratory bottle of Cava. The book was finished. Hurray! Just needed to type it up. We celebrated in the kitchen as Sammo would no doubt try and get into my glass of fizz if we sat outside. Just as I finished the second glass, I realised I’d left my notebook outside. I went off to get it, not tripping over the cat for once, and then I realised why he wasn’t there. He was busy chasing bits of my newly clawed and ripped up notebook all over the patio. Several freshly chewed pages were floating in the swimming pool. So the blogs and the chapters are a soggy chlorine mess of kitty litter. I guess it will save a literary agent from doing the same thing and binning it.
Oh, and one more thing. Apparently we should have given Sammo the whole tin of sardines not just one an evening, as a result the Koi pond was depleted of stock. Hubby and I have been asked to look after an ageing dog in France soon. I’m taking my laptop this time and no, I’m not allergic to dogs.